You don’t think of Indiana as being a particularly funny state, but it has given us David Letterman, Jim Gaffigan and Mike Epps. The latter was raised in Gary, the hometown of Michael Jackson. “They almost caught Michael Jackson,” Epps says of the singer’s various transgressions, “but I’m glad they didn’t get him. I’ll bet the guys in prison wasn’t happy. They was mad. ‘I wanted him! I’ve wanted Mike since I was a kid.’ ” A class clown, Epps entered a stand-up comedy competition in his teens and was so encouraged by the response that he decided to move to Atlanta to pursue his new found passion. He became so successful in Atlanta that a club owner there suggested the young Epps head on to New York City, which Epps did almost immediately. Appearances on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam followed. Epps then found himself in Los Angeles, where he had spent summers with his grandparents. While performing at the Comedy Store, he caught the attention of Ice Cube who then asked him to be in the movie Next Friday. The rest is history. Epps performs at the Taft Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday $40-$73.
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